Prague

Prague Castle

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic (Czechia) and is a charming old eastern European city. Can be quite crowded in the narrow cobbled streets particularly of old town but if you look past this you can see some amazing things.

Weather

Winters can get cool but not cold with lows generally above -10° C with only occasional snow. Summers can get quite warm.

Things to See and Do

Prague is a cosmopolitan city with a large number of things to do and see from the historical to contemporary. To be honest, just walking around is interesting though do not be surprised to see a number of shops familiar the world over. Note that toilets are few and far between with peak times of the year even restaurants charging (non-patrons) for their use.

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

The 14th century Charles Bridge joins the east and west sides of the city across the Danube. It leads from Prague Castle in the west to the old town in the east.

Statues

The bridge is lined by magnificent religious statues which are sites of pilgrimage with well warn sections that visitors rub for the relevant luck.

Looking Westward

Looking Eastward

The bridge is the single biggest attraction in Prague so expect crowds and lots of tourist touts.

Lesser Town Bridge Tower

Lennon Wall

John Lennon Wall

Near to Charles Bridge is “Lennon Wall” – a wall covered with Beatles and other peace-related messages. It was started following Lennon's assassination in 1980 with a large portrait of the man and has since been a site of pilgrimage for fans.

The Wall

The Wall

The wall is located on the south side of the bridge on the west bank of the river (take the steps into the street from the bridge then take the first ROAD on the right, follow it around turning right after the “John Lennon Pub” (through the alley, the wall is on the right…you can't miss it!).

John Lennon Pub

Old Town Square

The Old Town area of Prague is charming, full of small narrow alleys with typical tourist shops. The centerpiece is “Old Town Square” featuring the impressive 600-year old “Prague Astronomical Clock” (free to view on the outside of the city hall – just look for the crowds looking at a wall waiting for the top of the hour) which features animated characters that spring to life at the top of the hour.

Clock

The square has a large monument but more impressive is the domination of the facade of “Church of Our Lady before Týn”.

Monument

Church of Our Lady before Týn

The smaller 12th century St. Nicholas' Church is found in the northwestern corner of the square and is free to visit. It generally features concerts in the evening.

St. Nicholas' Church

Christmas Markets

Tree and Church

Old Town Square is the home of the biggest market in the city with numerous stalls selling handicrafts as well as drink (such as mulled wine) and food (generally things like sausages).

Food

Layer Cakes

Chimney Cakes

The Old Town market is generally open quite early in the morning until later in the evening.

Square

There are other more local markets around, for example, a short distance from the Old Town in “Wenceslas Square” with amazing views down the street towards the “Národní muzeum”…

Wenceslas Square

We also visited the small market in front of Church of Saint Ludmila which we spotted from the windows of the tram. A lovely local market with lots of local food, wine and handicrafts with a lot less of the tourist stuff…

Church of Saint Ludmila

Restaurants

Entrance

We were only in town for a short time but we really enjoyed Pork's on the west end of the Charles' Bridge with it's in-house brewed beer and excellent Czech food particularly the pork knuckle (huge, delicious…particularly with the included fresh horseradish).

Pork Knuckle

Pork Snitzel

Friendly service in a large interior, food is very reasonably priced and you will NOT go away hungry.

Beer Brewing

Getting Around

It is relatively easy to get around the centre of the city with transport options clearly spelled out. I would not try parking in the city centre…

Public Transport

Tram

There is an extensive network of trams and buses to get around this spread out city. Individual timed tickets are available (valid for any number of journeys within a given time period starting fro the first time the ticket is validated) as well as 24 hour and 72 hour options. For all of these tickets you should validate (onboard) on your first trip ONLY (otherwise your ticket becomes illegible with validation stamps!). Validation machines are available onboard the bus/tram.

Validation Machine

Tickets are available from small yellow ticket machines located near stations (generally coins only), from newspaper shops or, generally, from hotels (tickets can be purchased on board buses but may be more expensive).

Onboard a Tram

The trams are generally quite comfortable though in the cold weather it is advised to stay away from the doors which open at all stops.

Tram Route Board

The more modern trams have electronic route maps on board that show the upcoming stops.

See also Prague Integrated Transport (PID)

Tourist Transport

Horse-Drawn Carriages

Throughout the old town you can catch horse-drawn carriages (charges are clearly stated on the side of the carriage). A romantic, though often pricey, way to see the city.

Boat Tours

If you wander anywhere near Charles Bridge you will be accosted by multiple people offering trips along the river which is a great, and somewhat more relaxed, way to see the city. A particular recommendation is to take a trip later in the day where you can see the sun set but also see the city at night.

Further Information

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